Expensive Bar Mitzvah’s and weddings need to stop

Back in high school I remember when it seemed that everyone in the frum community was coming down on expensive weddings, pesach vacations and summer camps. The classic liberal slogan of “how can we spend so much on this, when so many people don’t have what to eat…” was being spewed on a weekly basis by those writing into the Yated and Jewish Press about the ills of our community. It seems that the practice of blaming others for our inability to brush off peer pressure is alive an well in the frum community. I thought the only people we were supposed to blame for our ills were the gays and liberals.

Dear Editor,

I am writing in regard to the ‘mishloach manos syndrome,’ the extravagance and pressure that has gotten out of hand. Priorities are misplaced, while spouses and children suffer due to Mommy’s sleepless nights and egoistic drive to evoke the coveted ‘Wow!’ reaction from relatives and friends.

It is a sad scenario of a mitzvah taken out of proportion and to a wrong extreme. Wrong motive, wrong action, wrong outcome.

Once we’re at it, let me mention that people should realize that the Kiddush at their next son’s bar mitzvah doesn’t have to cost $10,000 so that people talk about it for months after. My mishloach manos doesn’t have to dazzle the 250 people on our “list.”

To be honest with you, I’ve never really been a big fan of mishloach manos themes. I’m from those who always said that our theme is “mishloach manos.”

What about Purim costumes? Why should we be embarrassed to have less money to spend on costumes, especially those of us whose husbands are learning or earning a typical rebbi’s salary? Do we need the costumes to go along with the theme of the mishloach manos?

How about the person whose children dressed up as the Three Blind Mice? They were going to give out Mickey Mouse lollypops, cheese, and runny chocolate chip cookies. The last idea was going to be a little more complicated and slightly corny: “See how they run.”

Have we lost our minds?

And what if, chas veshalom, your youngest daughter doesn’t want to dress up as a blind mouse, but as Queen Esther?

Hashem help us.

Confused in Flatbush

 

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  • Izzy

    Why should it stop? It’s the American way! Certainly, living within one’s means makes sense but for someone who is financially successful, let them enjoy the Simchah’s in the way they want. When people come to your restaurant, do you always point them to the cheapest menu item or it’s cheaper if you cook at home? No… Do you like fine wine….of course you do! Each person has the right to enjoy life and if throwing excessive cash out during a family Simchah, makes their day, so be it and it’s not for others to judge. If you work hard and want to live large, this is the place to do it…..G-d Bless America!

    • Anonymous

      I think you just said what Heshy tried to say, that these people who are supposedly conservative, suddenly become whining liberals when it hits close to home.

  • zach

    250 people on their list? Stupidity…

  • Chani

    where I live, people do themes as a way of making all the various items in the shaloch manos make sense. But, theres a difference between themed shaloch manos and extravagance. The ones ive seen are pretty simple even with a theme (eg. a bag of cookies and box of milk). And if someone doesnt have a theme, that’s fine too. Forcing your child to match the theme is cruel in my opinion. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t bash themes. They make it part of the Purim fun for a lot of people. BUT – do bash the extravagance. Showing off and stressing out about shaloch manos is just stupid.

    • Anonymous

      Why does a gift of food have to “make sense”?? It’s food. You eat it.

      • Chani

        anonymous – who says it “has to”? I certainly didnt. And no one in my community cares if it doesnt fit a theme. I was just trying to explain why people do it.

        • http://www.frumsatire.net Heshy Fried

          One year I gave 40′s of malt liquor and little drakes cakes in a brown paper bag and called it ghetto shalach manos.

          • Alter Cocker

            sweet. I wish I had gotten some ghetto shalach manos

  • ms

    My son ate so many sweets and chocolates from mishloach manos he threw up causing a chain reaction among some of the adults who had become a little too merry.
    The lady of the house was not very pleased.

  • Michael K.

    I’m fortunate that in my circle of friends and acquaintances, most have converted to buying cards from worthy organizations that say “In lieu of Mishloach Manot, we have made a donation to tzedaka”. I do the minimum to fulfill the mitzvah, and that’s that.

    The cards are quite nice, and I don’t feel the need to eat them all before I start cleaning for Pesach.